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Patna, Bihar/ New Delhi, June 25, 2009
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the World Bank are helping the government of the Indian state of Bihar institute an Agribusiness Competitiveness Partnership that will facilitate collaboration between the public and private sectors to formulate policies, laws, and regulations to make local agribusiness more competitive.
The partnership will set in motion a discussion among government agencies, private-sector players, trade bodies, multilateral institutions, and other key stakeholders to resolve barriers to investments in agribusiness sector, improve competitiveness and unlock the sector’s investment potential. This platform is being instituted by the Bihar government on the basis of recommendations that came out of an IFC study on the sugar and maize sectors in the state last year.
At a workshop held in Patna today to discuss recommendations in the context of the investment climate reforms needed in the state, K. P. Saha, Bihar’s Principal Secretary for agriculture, said, “The Maize and Poultry Task Force will be the first to be instituted as part of this initiative to develop consensus between private entrepreneurs, farmers, and other stakeholders on reform-related issues and address concerns with a view to boosting investment in the sector.”
Referring to Bihar’s potential in agro-industries, the availability of abundant skilled and unskilled labor, and the large local market, Anil Sinha, General Manager, IFC Advisory Services, said: “The opportunities are many but the challenge for the state is to attract private investment in the short term amid the global slowdown and the risk perceptions.”
Gunther Schonleitner, World Bank Senior Investment Policy Officer, said: “The partnership is a mechanism to drive coordinated actions between the government and the private sector towards implementing the vision for the sugar and maize value chains outlined in the study, and is intended to be a long-term participatory forum for policy dialogue.”
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